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1/2 Marathon #17 – PR

Ran the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon yesterday, participating in the 1/2 marathon race. Here is my race report:

The weather conditions were perfect, low 40’s at the start with just a 4 mile per hour wind. The first 4 miles I had the company of a CERC runner and we ticked those miles off easily trying to hold the pace at a 10:15. I had brought my own water to get passed the first water stop without stopping. I ditched that bottle at mile 2ish and the “throw away” long sleeve shirt at mile 3. At mile four I picked up the pace to 10:00. My CERC partner was running the full and did not increase her speed.

Mile 5, 6 and 7 were uneventful. I just tried to keep my pace at 10:00, usually coming in just a few seconds under. Mile 6.5 to 7.5 were a little tougher, because they represented the first uphill (not a major incline, but a steady one).

At mile 10, going by my running plan, I needed to pick it up a little more, leaving behind a nice couple that I had been following the last 4 miles. During a brief conversation it turned out they used me to pace themselves while I used them to keep on pace!

I took advantage of every water stop along the way, and there were plenty, but only slowing down long enough to get those couple zips in me. GUing was not a problem, until I realized at mile 11 that my gas tank was low and I needed to take some in me. The only thing was, I had just passed a water stop. I felt like I was faltering a little bit and was worried about my stomach taking in GU without chasing it with water. But, I did it anyway. Shortly after mile marker 12 there was a water stop and I was back on track.

The last 2 miles of the race are a steady incline, but because of my training (running 16 mile long runs every Saturday, with a shorter long run – 8 to 10 miles – on Sunday), I was able to kick it in a bit, passed quite a few runners. That felt so good, because usually at that point, I am holding on tooth and nail, trying to get to the finish without having to crawl!

I PRed by over 6 minutes, blowing my April PR out of the water! My goal of a 10 min/mile pace was realized, coming in at a 9:59 min/mile pace! Call me a happy camper!

Notes:

  • My husband and daughter both made it out to watch me race. It was great to see them at mile 9 and 12, it gave me something to look forward to.
  • Jim Miller, who is one of my running idols (in his 60 and fast as a horse), jumped in at mile 10ish to run with me for just a few minutes.
  • Passed and said “hi” to Jim Tucker around mile 5, who is the greatest TNT running coach ever.
  • Having Lisa run with/near me for the first 4 miles made that part of the course much easier.
  • Seeing a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Champion every mile was very moving.
  • My father in law, who passed away earlier this year, was with me in spirit the whole way.
  • Spending time before and after the race with our new CERC runners, running their first half or full marathon was very inspiring.

I am looking forward to running Marshall (Healthy Huntington Marathon) in three weeks. My goal is to come in under 2:10, but if I don’t, that is OK.

Until then – may the wind be in your back!

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Running

 

I am Goofy!

Ran the Baltimore (Ohio) 5k and PRed by 45 seconds! I managed to run it in 28 minutes flat (9 min mile) and I am still on Cloud 9. Sorry all you dear FB friends who already read heard me bragging about it.

A couple of years ago I tried to run a mile as fast as I could and managed to squeeze out ONE 9 min mile. At that time I never imagined that I could sustain that for a total of 3.1 miles. I am hoping that when I run another 5k sometime in the future, I’ll break that 28 min/9 min mile barrier.

The icing on the cake today was that this was our first race with our new CERC running group. Even though we only had three members and us four pacers run the race, we had three other members show up for moral support and everyone wore our lime green CERC shirts. (I am wearing the black and green head band)

Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) – After the Baltimore 5k

But…you wonder, what does this have to do with the title of the post. Well…If you where to google the “Goofy Challenge“, you would learn about a running event in Disney World (Florida). On Saturday, January 12th, 2013 you run a half marathon and on Sunday, the 13th you run a full marathon, all within the Disney World parks. I AM SIGNED UP for the race! THE AIRLINE TICKETS ARE BOUGHT, and the HOTEL RESERVATIONS ARE MADE! I am going with some great running buddies, and I am sooooo looking forward to it.

2013 ''Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge'' Walt Disney World Auto Magnet

The training is a bit tricky, considering I am pacing a half marathon group, whose goal race is the Columbus (1/2) marathon in October. This means I get up at 4:30 on Saturdays to get my “additional” miles in for my long run and then run the remaining miles with the group, and then my shorter long run on Sunday. Eventually when the new training season (in December) starts this will flip, putting the shorter long run on Saturday and the long long run on Sunday, to match the actual running sequence.

So far my body has adopted well. My PR today proves that. My left achilles is still a bit sore, but I stretch it regularly and it’s actually gotten better.

I.CAN’T.WAIT!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in 13.1, Running

 

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The medal I never wanted

In 2009 I had signed up to run with Team in Training to raise money to find a cure for Lymphoma & Leukemia and support families that battle these terrible blood cancers. Within a month of signing up, my father in-law was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma! Of course I made him my hero, the person I was fundraising and running for. Every hill I tackled during training became nothing. Because compared to what Roger was going through, what was a hill that I needed to overcome?

With the help of my employer and some very generous people, I was able to raise a good amount of money. Enough to receive this plaque.

The Plaque

 

When the race came near, we weren’t sure if Roger would be able to watch, because he was having more bad days than good. Turned out he was able to make it! That race, the 2009 Capital City Half Marathon was one of the most emotional races I had ever run. Seeing him at the sideline, skinny as a rail, holding up a sign is forever etched into my brain.

The Sign

Roger had been at some of my races before to show his support of my running, but this time it was different, I was running for him! After the race was over I met up with him, his wife, and my husband. During the race I had decided to give Roger my medal to show him that he’s a winner in my book and how much he meant to me. That medal since then had been adoring the mirror on the dresser in his bedroom.

If you have followed my blog, you will know that Roger passed away almost two weeks ago from a second battle with NonHodgkins Lymphoma; one that he was not able to win.

Today, my mother in-law gave me the medal I had given to Roger. It was an emotional moment for me, because when he tackled cancer a second time, I was hoping that he’d walk away a winner again. To me, receiving the medal back made it somewhat more final that it wasn’t meant to be.

The medal that I really never wanted back will be the one I will treasure the most. It now hangs proudly in my office and as soon as I get the chance, it will go into a shadow box to be properly displayed.

The medal & the shirt

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Running, Team in Training, TNT

 

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2012 Cleveland Marathon (Half)

As previously mentioned, my sister Angi and I had this idea of running a race together since she started running a few years back. The thing holding us back in the past was that she lives in Germany and I in the US. This made our idea a bit more difficult. But this year it worked out that she was in the US during the 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland (half) Marathon on May 20th, so I signed us up. Her employer, Tandano Faun (a Japanese crane manufacturer in Germany) offered to pay for the half marathon entry fee for both of us if we wore their running shirts…oh yeah, not a problem!

We had driven up the day before, staying about a half a mile from the start and finish line, which was by the Cleveland Browns football stadium. The temperature was about 65 degrees, with an expected high in the mid 80’s. Another hot race (Cap City half had been about the same)!

This was to be Angi’s 2nd half marathon and my 16th. We agreed that we would run together for a little bit and then separate if one of us picked up the pace. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do, considering we are both competitive and our PRs are about 15 minutes apart. I think we managed to run together for the first 1/2 mile and then I pulled away a bit. Unbeknownst to me, she kept up with me and passed me around mile 2! I kept her in my sight for the next three miles and passed her shortly after mile 5.

Around mile 7 I passed two runners from our local running club. I stopped and took their picture. Around mile 10 it started getting hot. I noticed that I had stopped sweating; not good – it’s a sign of dehydration. I slowed down my pace a bit and made sure I grabbed two water cups at the aid stations. The last two miles were really slow and there were a few runners that needed medical attention. There was not water at the last station! It was hot and running downtown provided no shade and no wind. Finally, I made it to the finish line! About 11 minutes later Angi made it too!

I am looking forward to running another one with her sometime in the near future either in the US or Germany. It is nice to share your hobby with your sister.

Looking forward, I am now contemplating on running the US Air Force Marathon half in Dayton in September. Maybe it won’t be as hot then, but with the current trend, it might even be hotter. We’ll see. (Edit: I just checked on the USAF Marathon, it’s sold out…going to look around for another one)

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My father in-law was not able to win the battle against lymphoma this time around and passed away peacefully with family by his side on May 10th. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for all family members, but we are dealing with it the best we can. He was always there for his kids, their spouses, and his grand & great grand kids. One of the many things I miss now that he’s gone, is him either being at the races or asking me about it and looking at the medal afterwards. He’ll always be in my heart. CANCER SUCKS! RIP, Roger!

Roger – Easter 2012

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in 1/2 Marathon, Race Report, Running

 

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The way things are right now

It’s been a while…there is a reason, but more about that in a bit.

I ran my 15th half marathon last weekend. Humidity was 100% and the temperature at the time of the start 65 degrees. I was kinda hoping for a PR, after getting one in Athens (Ohio). But, I haven’t been running much lately, so after mile 2 I knew I could not keep up that pace and settled for just getting a medal.

The race was good, at one point we only had one lane to run in, which is fine, but with 13,000 runners, it was a bit cramped. The water stations were a mess. At one station I had to back track to get water because the next table was out.

There were a lot of runners at the end of the course (last 3 miles) being tended to by first aid personnel. The humidity must have gotten to them in one way or another. This made me glad that I threw the PR out the window. Even though I did get water at every water station, my right calf started to cramp up a little a half a mile before the finish.

NONETHELESS: The medal I received is huge (& heavy) and the day overall lots of fun.

In other news: My sister is flying in from Germany to visit next week (that’s were I am originally from). We are running the Cleveland Rock and Roll Marathon (HALF) together. Ever since she was bitten by the running bug, running a race together has been a conversation of ours. On the 20th it will come true. I. AM. EXCITED!

I am trying to keep my miles up, but lately is been tough finding the time. My father-in-law, who is very dear to me, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (he beat the cancer back 3 years ago) and has been in the hospital, most the time in ICU, for almost four weeks. There have been improvements in his condition and major set backs. So, basically our lives consists of going to work and then spending time at the hospital and helping my mother-in-law (who is also very dear to me) out. Running takes the back seat.

Oh, oh, oh, I bought a bike…I almost forgot! I road bike (bicycle…why do people assume a bike is a motorcycle *sigh*). I am now the proud owner of a Giant Avail 2 road bike.

Have I had to the chance to ride it? Yes!

How far? 3 miles! 😦 I am hoping to get on it this weekend a little.

Well, that’s the way things are right now, hoping for a positive change.

 
 

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2012 RunCbus 10 Miler

My hopes for the race was to run a faster per-mile-pace than the 1/2 in Athens:

I had been warned about the hills during the second half of the race. I was ready for that. BUT, during my training I have been taking in water every 2 miles if I went longer than 6. The 10 miler only had 3 waterstops, plus one impromptu one at mile 9-something.

Other than the water stops – let me regress here again: the first one at mile 3.14, second one at mile 5, last one at mile 6.89, plus the impromptu one (where they handed out bottles of water) – I am not complaining. The course was challanging with a visible steady incline from mile 8.5 to 9.5. I checked my Garmin and the elevation changed 130 ft in that mile. The Gamin actually showed an incline from 7.5 to 9.5 but I didn’t really notice it until 8.5. I managed to hold on to an 11 min/mile pace from mile 8 to 9 and then ran a sub 10 the last mile.

The great thing about the race was that my daughter and her boyfriend watched me run. It was nice having them there; it was a special treat. 🙂 The other great thing was the nice New Balance jacket I received for signing up. 🙂 (No medal at the finish line though; can’t have it all)

To make a long story short: My overall mile pace during the Athens’ half was 10:26; it was 10:23 for the 10 miler. Mission accomplished!

Three more weeks until the Capital City Half Marathon!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in 10, Race Report, Run, Running

 

PR! – Athens Half Marathon April 1, 2012

I entered the race just for fun, to be with friends who love to run like I do (most of them a bit faster than I am). Turns out the stars were alligned just right and a PR was bound to happen.

The hubby drove to Athens (Ohio) with me to cheer me on. That doesn’ t happen to often and I was glad to have him a long. Race packet pick up was prior to the race about a 1/2 mile from the starting line. The place where we picked up the packet was also the finish line. With the packet picked up and bib attached we were off to the starting line, walking through the beautiful Ohio University campus.

Starting Line

Starting Line

The course, which is overall very flat, starts with a very steep downhill part. I was a bit worried about my knee and calf/achilles, after the experience in Mississippi and the following injuries I had. But my body held up! I ran into an old running buddy, Kelly, shortly after the start. She is much faster than I am, but just getting back into running after spitting out her second child. We ran together for a while. She was a tad bit too fast for me, and I dropped back…eventually I got into my stride and I caught back up to her. We, including a runner from West Virginia that Kelly had befriended, ran most of the second half of the race together.

Mile 5 - Kelly is a little behind me (in pink)

At the turn-around point it occurred to me that I could PR if I kept that pace up the second half. However, the first half of the race was on a slight decline, meaning the returning part would be at an incline. But with Kelly at my side, happily cheering me on and keeping my mind occupied with life stories, we were still going strong at mile 10.

The miles just went by so fast, but I did notice that we had slowed down just a little bit. Mile 13 however, made up for it, running my second fastest mile in that race.  We entered the stadium with about 600 yards to go. After the first 200 were behind us, we could see the clock, and Kelly said “You got this!”. She then shouted to our friends, who were waiting for us, “She is going to PR!” and they started cheering like crazy. So loud as a matter of fact that I could hear them all the way on the other side of the track!

Kelly: "Where did she go?"

Kelly high 5-ing while I am dying! 🙂

Kicking it in!

With about 100 yards to go, I kicked it in some more…don’t know where that came from, and I PRed by 32 seconds! What a great feeling!

Running Friends

Running Friends!

This was my easiest PR ever and so unexpected, it makes it twice as nice. Am I glad that I had signed up to spend the day with friends.

Me, Kelly, and the lady from West Virginia